Newfoundland and Labrador is giving employers another reason to hire apprentices — financial incentives. A $2.6-million Apprenticeship Wage Subsidy Program will apply a contribution rate for wage subsidies to participating apprentices based on their years of experience: 90 per cent for first-year apprentices, 80 per cent for the second year and 60 per cent for the third- and fourth-year apprentices.
The program will provide apprentices with the opportunity to gain work experience to successfully progress through their training to become journeyperson-certified, said Darin King, minister of human resources, labour and employment.
“Our government recognizes the increased demand for skilled tradespeople that is developing throughout our province. As the provincial economy grows and labour market demands increase, we will depend heavily on the individuals who are progressing through the apprenticeship program to ensure our province’s success.”
The program is a joint initiative of the Department of Human Resources, Labour and Employment and the Department of Education and builds on the momentum of a recent stakeholder forum, said Joan Burke, minister of education.
“We have heard the voices of business and industry. We have heard the voices of apprentices,” she said. “Now, through the Apprentice Wage Subsidy Program, we are supporting and encouraging increased employer involvement in the apprenticeship program, particularly among those who have not traditionally participated, such as small and medium-sized businesses.”
Priority groups eligible for the funding will include first- and second-year apprentices, particularly under-represented groups such as women, Aboriginals, persons with disabilities and youth.
“Through this new program, the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador, as a whole, will benefit from having a larger pool of skilled and certified workers to address growing labour demands,” said King. “In light of impending major construction projects on the horizon, our government feels this investment is timely and will be extremely effective in supporting apprentices and their potential employers throughout the province.”
More information can be found at www.lmiworks.nl.ca.
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